, , , , , | Right | October 10, 2018

(I work as an optician at a doctor’s office. This woman comes up to me asking about an update on her prescription. She tells me that she wants to keep her frames and just get new lenses. It’s no problem; we do that all the time. I explain to her that we will need to send her frames to our lab off site, since she did not get her old pair from us and we need to install new lenses directly. I then tell her the total. Problems ensue.)

Customer: “What do you mean, you need to install new lenses? Why is it so expensive?”

Me: “In order to update your prescription, we have to send your frame to our lab. There’s a small fee for using your old frame, but the lenses themselves are bringing up the price.” *shows her the price list*

Customer: “Yes, I understand that, but why do you have to put in new lenses?”

Me: “Um… In order to update your prescription, we have to create new lenses.”

Customer: “But I already paid for these!” *pointing at her glasses*

Me: *considering the possibility that she was updating her prescription on the same order, which would be free IF she got them from us* “When did you get them?”

Customer: “Three years ago! I paid over $800 for these, and now you’re telling me I have to pay more to get them changed?”

Me: “Well, if you got them from us and let us know that the prescription was wrong, we would have redone them for you right away, but even that is a 90-day grace period.”

Customer: “You’re not making any sense! Why would it cost me an additional $300 to just get my prescription updated?”

Me: “Well, the materials cost—”

Customer: *interrupting* “THAT’S THE THING, THOUGH! WHY WOULD THERE BE NEW MATERIALS? I HAVE THE GLASSES RIGHT HERE, JUST CHANGE THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “I… That is not possible, in order to get a new prescription in these frames, the lenses would have to be changed entirely. We can’t just add or take away prescription to your old lenses.”

Customer: “Well, why not?”

Me: *at a loss* “I… Have you gotten glasses other than your previous pair before?”

Customer: “No! They are my first pair! I am not going to pay more to just add a prescription to my glasses!”

Me: “Okay, let me put it this way. When you were a baby, you wore smaller clothes, right? And as you grew older and taller, you needed to buy new clothes that were the correct size. That’s kind of like how prescriptions work. We can’t just… add strength to your lenses without making new ones.”

Customer: “But I already have the glasses!” *shakes her glasses at my face* “JUST ADD THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry; I can’t do that.”

Customer: “You can’t or won’t?! You’re just trying to weasel more money out of me! You’re a crook! I want a manager!”

Me: “I don’t know how else to explain to you how this works. To get an updated prescription you need to get new lenses entirely. There’s no possible feasible way to add a prescription to lenses that are already made. Also, okay, my manager is at a different location, but I am happy to give you his card.”

(The woman continues to argue for about twenty minutes about how I am just trying to steal her money, that I should be able to just add the prescription to her old lenses, etc. Eventually, I ask her to wait a moment and I go and grab her doctor. The doctors don’t usually get involved with the glasses, but he makes an exception. The woman then proceeds to scream at him as well as me, making a huge scene.)

Customer: “NO ONE TOLD ME I’D HAVE TO KEEP PAYING FOR THESE WHEN I GOT THEM! YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF LIARS! JUST ADD THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “I would be happy to! But you’re getting new lenses one way or the other!”

Doctor: “Ma’am, she’s really the expert here. You can ask anyone wearing glasses in this waiting room, and they will all tell you the same thing!”

Me: “I’m wearing glasses right now! Whenever there’s a change in my prescription I have to buy new ones!”

Customer: “I’M GOING TO SUE YOU FOR FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”

Doctor: *sees I am close to tears* “Go ahead, ma’am. Good luck with that. But you need to leave now.”

Customer: “WHAT ABOUT MY NEW PRESCRIPTION?!?”

Doctor: “Take it somewhere else.”

Customer: “FINE! BUT WHEN I FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN CHANGE IT WITHOUT CHANGING THE WHOLE LENS I’M GOING TO COME BACK!”

(She storms out, tries to slam the door, and cusses loudly when she realizes it’s a door that cannot be slammed.)

Doctor: “I’m sorry; I knew she’d be a problem when I was testing her eyes.”

Random Customer: “Dear, go take a break.”

Other Random Customer: “No one should be around that much stupid; I almost smacked her with my cane!”

(The woman did eventually come back — a lot more quietly — after a couple of weeks, since most other optical shops did not take her insurance AND she’d gotten the same response from literally everyone. She even had the guts to complain about how some of them laughed her out of the stores. I kept my best customer service face and just put her order through with a smile. She never apologized for her prior outburst, and still complained about the price, even though I offered her a healthy discount on TOP of her insurance benefits. Some people.)

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